If you are looking for a chat program for your community or website, Skookum Monkey recommends chatWING.
We’ve tried a number of chat programs for a site we sponsor, The Look 24/7. These programs include ones that run directly off of our servers and cloud-based chat programs.
It didn’t matter what option we chose, users always had a complaint. These complaints ranged from lack of options—such as private chat—to lag—regardless if the chat program was hosted on our servers or somewhere in the cloud—to the hassle of having to create an account just so that administrators and moderators have the option to ban users and make the chat unreadable to the public, and the list goes on.
From an administrative standpoint, frequent issues included limited chat logs, lack of customisation to fit a theme, plugins that fail to be updated as new versions of WordPress are released, AJAX that needs rewriting, privacy, and the list continues.
chatWing is better than we had hoped. Easy to use from an admin standpoint, beginning with easy installation and tonnes of free customisation options, with a few bonus paid options. From a user standpoint, after a month and a half heavy use on The Look 24/7’s chat page, not a single user has complained. Some users have gone on to create their own chatWING accounts for their own private chat purposes.
A good breakdown of all the options available are featured in the video below:
Aside from all of the customisation options, the other great thing about chatWING is how simple it is to not only locate chat logs, but the variety of downloadable file options. No more hunting through FTP to find that directory to find that text file. chatWING allows you to download chat logs in CVS, PDF, JSON, and XML. Plus, you can download the log by date: today, yesterday, last week, last month, or enter a custom range.
The ability to easily add a welcome message to the top of the chat program is also a nice thing to have.
Finally, administrators can easily add moderators without having to give them an admin user role on your WordPress site. This is a really big one if you trust someone enough to moderate chat, but you don’t trust them enough to not blow up your WordPress site if they are an admin.
Users enjoy chatWING because they can login using their social media account of choice, or as a guest. Those login options are left up to the administrator. They also enjoy it because when they share YouTube or Vimeo links, the video embeds in chat. The ability to embed images is also enjoyed. This allows users to share a lot of content without the need for users to leave the chat room in order to enjoy it. Private chat among users and the ability to pop the chat client out of the web page are other often used features.
The biggest feedback from users has been: There is no lag and it doesn’t conflict with browser add-ons, like various ad blockers. The previous chat program The Look 24/7 was using had script that conflicted with ad block add-ons, causing huge lag. It also didn’t behave uniformly across browsers and OS’s, making it very difficult to duplicate many of the common lag complaints because the administrators would never experience them, even when moving to a different platform or tablet.
Also, both administrators and users appreciate that the chat program is very mobile-friendly. For Android users, it’s even better. They can install the chatWING app, search “The Look 24/7” and voila! They can have chat running in the app, while listening to The Look 24/7 via TuneIn Radio. Then, wildstar gold they can add the chat to their bookmarks for easy future access.
Desktop users can also visit any chatWING chat simply by entering the chat’s dedicated URL into their browser.
In the last two years, we’ve tried at least 20 different chat programs. chatWING is the first program we’ve used that has pleased both administrators and users in equal measure.